We often come unstuck when eating out because it goes hand-in-hand with so many other things:
* This is my treat – it’s my night off, my chance to splurge
* Getting my money’s worth – the eat-all-you-like buffet or the set menu
* Celebrations – a great excuse to go overboard with food and alcohol
* Other people’s “concern” – “I don’t like to see you depriving yourself”
Any sense of hunger, fullness and general enjoyment can go right out the window.
But how about we look at it differently?
Eating out is all about the experience, not just the food and getting value for money.
There is so much more to a meal out than what and how much you eat: the venue, the company, the atmosphere, the conversation.
It is your treat, which is exactly why you should play it however you want to – if you want to splurge, then splurge… it’s a treat not an everyday event, you’ve planned for it so enjoy!
However, if you want a meal out to be part of your healthy lifestyle, then remember that you are paying to have it how you want it – you can have whatever you want, whether it’s part of the set menu or not; you don’t have to have all three courses; you can mix it up (two starters rather than a main); and, believe it or not, you can even leave food on your plate! This is something that naturally thin people do all the time without a second thought.
It’s so very easy to go from chuffed to stuffed, as one of my clients so beautifully put it. In my book, anything beyond pleasantly full is a waste of money – why would I arrange a babysitter, dress up, book and pay for an experience that leaves me feeling bloated and uncomfortable?
So, the key message here is that you are paying for the experience and not just the food – make it an experience to remember for all the right reasons.
That said, if getting your money’s worth really is your thing, then you’ll be pleased to hear that packing as much food in as possible for a fixed fee generally comes with two free gifts – serious bloating and guilty recriminations.